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Saturday, Oct 10, 2020 13:00 [IST]

Last Update: Saturday, Oct 10, 2020 07:28 [IST]

It’s not over yet

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on India. Even as we enter the 10th month of the global health crisis, the number of confirmed cases continue to rise steadily. Some states and districts have fared worse than others. Today, the total number of confirmed cases stand at over 69 lakhs. So far, the disease has claimed the lives of over 1.6 lakhs people in the country. The number of cases has grown significantly following easing of lockdown restrictions. This is, to a large extent, because of people’s attitude and indifference. Lack of awareness also plays a big role here.

Six months is a long time for anyone to follow a strictly regimented personal life, let alone abide by the harsh restrictions of a Covid lockdown. It is no surprise then that fatigue has begun to get the better of us. Masks seem to be slipping off and people appear to be milling around in public places. As our last few official curbs are lifted, Indians may get even more lax. The danger, however, has not passed. If anything, it has grown, with coronavirus lurking even in nooks and crannies seen to be above suspicion.

So it’s just as well that Prime Minister NarendraModi stepped in to shake the country back to alertness. On Thursday, he launched a renewed public campaign to remind people of Covid-appropriate behaviour. “India’s covid-19 fight is people driven and gets great strength from our covid warriors. Our collective efforts have helped saved many lives. We have to continue the momentum and protect our citizens from the virus. #Unite2FightCorona," Modi tweeted.

The campaign is aimed to encourage people’s participation or a Jan Andolan. It endeavours to be a low-cost, high-intensity campaign with the key messages of 'Wear mask, follow physical distancing and maintaining hand hygiene'. A concerted action plan will be implemented by Central government ministries, departments, state governments and Union territories. The campaign will focus on region-specific targeted communication in high case-load districts, simple and easily understandable messages to reach every citizen. Under the campaign, there will be dissemination throughout the country using all media platforms.

The campaign has been launched in view of the upcoming festivals and winter season as well as the opening up of the economy, the prime minister's office said in a statement. Its aim is to draw attention back to safety protocols, like staying sufficiently apart, wearing masks and washing hands. These elementary must-dos require reiteration, especially now that the festival season is upon us, and even more citizens may start slackening off. Gatherings are inadvisable. But if the festive spirit refuses to be dampened, then it’s all the more important that our vigil be maintained. Modi’s message should reach far and wide.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi